Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Erling Haaland. These are just a handful of players who’ve won the Golden Boy award—given to the best under-20 player in the world—with Barcelona’s Pedri being the most recent winner. For any club, having one of your players nominated is a sign that you have quite a gem on your hands. And while being nominated or even winning the award isn’t a guarantee of future success, it’s an acknowledgment that should the stars align, you have a special talent on your hands (and hopefully on your books) for years to come.
As a club that frequently unearths hidden gems—often a necessity given the limited transfer budget the club typically has at its disposal—Roma is no stranger to having its young starlets nominated for the award, with Nicolo Zaniolo, Riccardo Calafiori, and Justin Kluivert all nominated in recent seasons.
With Tuttosport releasing the initial 100-man longlist earlier this week, you can add a few more names to the aforementioned list of Roma players to be nominated for the award, with Felix Afena-Gyan, Edoardo Bove, and Nicola Zalewski all nominated for this year’s iteration of the Golden Boy.
Felix Afena-Gyan— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) June 21, 2022
Three of our young stars have been included in the initial longlist for the 2022 European Golden Boy!
#ASRoma | https://t.co/ZedEnvk7zf pic.twitter.com/WQRxuvHBoS
All in all, the trio no doubt left their mark this season. Afena-Gyan made 17 appearances across all competitions, with his brace off the bench against Genoa the standout moment for the young Ghanaian. And while Bove made his debut in the 2020-2021 season under Fonseca, it was under Mourinho that he genuinely established himself as a member of the senior squad, making 13 appearances across all competitions. For Zalewski, this is his second nomination in as many years, with the Polish international nominated for the 2021 edition as well, as the starlet played out of position and made the left-wingback position his own, playing a crucial role in both Roma’s Serie A campaign and in their quest to win the Europa Conference League.
Let us know which of the trio has the best chance at being named to the final 20-man shortlist come November!